Tried Virtual PA, Should I Try Live Chat instead?

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by Sparetoolparts, May 1, 2019.

  1. Sparetoolparts

    Sparetoolparts UKBF Regular Full Member

    351 31
    Hi All

    On a Monday and Tuesday I hold down a second job where I am unable to answer the phone to my E-Commerce customers (I work on my E-commerce Site the rest of the week), I had decided to give a Virtual PA a chance and see if I could capture the lost sales I am getting from not being able to answer the phone on them two days, it is working out approx 15-20 calls a day I'm missing and prob a 70/30 split on Sales Enquiries vs customer service issues.

    I had gone with a company called Moneypenny everything was very slick and worked as it should, unfortunately the ROI was terrible with me only recovering over 100 in revenue in a one month trial.

    so rather than waste money on this venture, I want to look at Live Chat option and have an operator for the mon-tuesday instead. I would hope that having someone on hand to point the customers to the products online would work better rather than taking a phone message.

    Have any of you experience of this? who have you used? is it worth it?
     
    Posted: May 1, 2019 By: Sparetoolparts Member since: Oct 26, 2015
    #1
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    live chat rather than phone call - I would move on to next site.

    presumably an answering machine would not work and dealing with callbacks same or next day from mobile would not work.
     
    Posted: May 1, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #2
  3. cjd

    cjd UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    15,452 3,074
    Your LiveChat person would still need to have enough knowledge to answer the callers questions properly. If you find someone that can do that you might as well let them answer calls too - it doesn't cost any more.

    For us it's about 60:40 calls to LiveChat; people have different preferences.
     
    Posted: May 2, 2019 By: cjd Member since: Nov 23, 2005
    #3
  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    Would it not be better to change the website so people don’t need to ask questions.

    Analysis of the enquiries should tell identify the questions asked from which you can then update the site content with the required information.
     
    Posted: May 2, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #4
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  5. Sparetoolparts

    Sparetoolparts UKBF Regular Full Member

    351 31
    Hi Fiscix

    The majority of the questions are as follow:

    Customer:
    I need a Part for my Drill, it's the motor for a ABC123

    Seller:
    Have you tried using the website search function to find the model and the part

    Customer:
    No (I event get what's your website address I just saw your number and called it)

    Seller:
    Ok let me find it for you and give you the part number so you can order online.


    the Chat adviser would only really need to know how to get the URL for the product page and send that to the customer, all they would need from the customer is the model number and the common name for the parts in most cases. As that is what I do over the phone, I have a free Trial with MoneyPenny I might try for proof of concept but their fee's overall are quite expensive.

    Anyone here had good experience using CHAT as a retailer?
     
    Posted: May 2, 2019 By: Sparetoolparts Member since: Oct 26, 2015
    #5
  6. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

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    Having an FAQ page is always a good idea as an alternative. Alex
     
    Posted: May 2, 2019 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
    #6
  7. estwig

    estwig UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,262 4,292
    My tumble dryer broke recently, got a man out, it needed a new main circuit board costing £180.00, the man asked me to order it and pointed out the website to use. He was quite insistent that I call them to make sure the part ordered was correct, I tried explaining that all the operative on the phone would do is use their website, the same as anyone could, he didn't get it and felt someone had to be spoken to. I ordered the part via the website anyway, he came back and fitted it, all good.

    This is what you are up against, basically technophobes who probably won't use a chatbot anyway, they feel the need to speak to a person.
     
    Posted: May 2, 2019 By: estwig Member since: Sep 29, 2006
    #7
  8. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

    3,417 585
    I suspect this is a generational thing.

    I can't imagine many millennials, let alone Gen Zs doing this ...

    Paul
     
    Posted: May 2, 2019 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
    #8
  9. estwig

    estwig UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,262 4,292
    Probably.

    I'm 50 years old and will always use tech over the choice of speaking on the phone, it's too time consuming. For my age group I am in the minority, which brings the point that the OP needs to know his demographic.
     
    Posted: May 2, 2019 By: estwig Member since: Sep 29, 2006
    #9
  10. Prime81

    Prime81 UKBF Regular Free Member

    100 15
    I'm 37 and my husband is 52, he picks tech/emails where I always like to call and talk to someone if there is an issue. Most ebay sites don't have phone numbers it's all email so can't you get someone to just answer emails mon/Tues so people get a quick response. You could try a mum with kids school age looking for something small to fit around the school run. I know so many mums who want a small job around the kids and if you aren't locked down talking to a phone all day when you can email on the go it might work.
     
    Posted: May 2, 2019 By: Prime81 Member since: Jan 23, 2018
    #10
  11. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    I am 3 years younger than you and prefer the phone to live chat. I find it quicker.

    saying that the local teenagers would not dream of using their mobile phone to call to order a pizza, they use the mobile phone to get a pizza delivered without calling.
     
    Posted: May 2, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #11
  12. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    10,637 2,151
    I would suggest you have a look at some toner and printer ink sites and see how they do it as they are normall expert in making what could be a nightmare selection process, run smoothly buy just starting with the maker and progressing down

    If yoiu can make your site as easy to use then your phone calls will deminish dramatically

    PS i am 72 and just chose whatever chat/phone or email i think will get me the quickest responce, unfortunatly my experience of chats is the operator is ill informed and has to ask someone to answer the most basic questions leaving you wondering id contact has been broken
     
    Posted: May 2, 2019 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #12
  13. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,753 1,871
    have been part of live chat for a couple of employers. talking on phone to one customer while dealing with live chat for another ….
    from talking to others who have done similar jobs its often the chat that is added as additional duty for someone. not a dedicated person whose job is to respond.
     
    Posted: May 2, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #13
  14. Sparetoolparts

    Sparetoolparts UKBF Regular Full Member

    351 31
    Test is currently underway for live chat, lots of use from it. Chat agents are getting their knowledge base constantly updated. So results/answers to queries are improving. Trial ends at the end of the week. So I'll look at the results then and let u know.


    When I change over to Magento 2 the site will get a revamp and a better/more obvious search box etc
     
    Posted: May 14, 2019 By: Sparetoolparts Member since: Oct 26, 2015
    #14
  15. makeusvisible

    makeusvisible UKBF Ace Full Member - Verified Business

    1,104 251
    We have used it for a few clients. It does all boil down to how well you educate the operators. It will never work as well month 1, as it will month 3, whilst they get their hands around your products/service.

    It might be worth keeping in mind, that Moneypenny do also offer that service (live chat). We have found them pretty flawless on the phone side of things over the years, but their offering is mainly fielding rather than servicing calls.
     
    Posted: Oct 1, 2019 By: makeusvisible Member since: Jan 23, 2011
    #15
  16. consultant

    consultant Your Business Community Staff Member

    5,456 754
    Moneypenny aren't a VA are they? They are a call answering service.

    Why not emply a proper VA!
     
    Posted: Oct 1, 2019 By: consultant Member since: Jan 21, 2008
    #16
  17. Sparetoolparts

    Sparetoolparts UKBF Regular Full Member

    351 31
    Hi

    I used MoneyPenny for over a month as a call answering service on the 2 x days I was not in the office, they did a great job at taking the calls and relying the info to me but the majority of the clients wanted the product there and then and didn't want/couldn't wait for me to reply.

    We then tried Live Chat, where moneypenny could advise on to use the website and place the orders, but they didnt have the knowledge or expertise to answer the questions needed to close the sales.

    So although they are great at what they do, they werent right for me in the end :-(

    But I did get a free pair of socks out of them :)
     
    Posted: Oct 2, 2019 By: Sparetoolparts Member since: Oct 26, 2015
    #17
  18. Sparetoolparts

    Sparetoolparts UKBF Regular Full Member

    351 31
    Ref a proper VA

    I'm not sure I could get what I want out of one, I need phone call and enquired dealt with on a Mon-Tues 9-5. And not having me to chase all enquiries on a Wed ( I'm unavailable them two days)
     
    Posted: Oct 2, 2019 By: Sparetoolparts Member since: Oct 26, 2015
    #18
  19. Craig3141

    Craig3141 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    77 1
    So the problem is they just take a message and pass it on rather than dealing with the enquiry?
     
    Posted: Oct 6, 2019 By: Craig3141 Member since: Aug 9, 2019
    #19
  20. Sparetoolparts

    Sparetoolparts UKBF Regular Full Member

    351 31
    For the phone enqueries yes that was the deal, which is what I would have expected, but with the Chat Live function, I gave instructions on to help the customer find what they wanted, but this was not followed correctly.

    I know people will now say, the site should be easy enough to navigate without help, but for specific items that someone with no knowledge or is not used to using schematics they normally need help.

    Also half the time from speaking to people/emailing them they don't even try to find it
     
    Posted: Oct 6, 2019 By: Sparetoolparts Member since: Oct 26, 2015
    #20